News / Art

Ai Weiwei creates flag for new human rights awareness campaign

The influential and inarguably important Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has unveiled a flag to mark 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a profile published in today’s edition of The Guardian, the occasionally controversial practitioner, who has been exiled in Berlin since 2015, compares the current socio-political mood in Germany with how the country felt in the 1930s.

It is this increasing sense of a hostility towards immigration and otherness that has inspired Ai Weiwei to create a flag which will be available in spaces like care homes, schools, libraries and hospitals across the UK during 2019.

It is a major component of Fly the Flag, a human rights awareness campaign that sees arts organisations and human rights charities working together to increase awareness of the fundamental importance of human rights in a rapidly changing world. The initiative will be rolled out across schools, with creative resources available for key stage one to five.

Ai Weiwei himself says of the project, “I am honoured to have the opportunity to design a flag for the 70th anniversary for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” He adds, “as we all come to learn, human rights are the precious result from generation after generation’s understanding of the human struggle. I am proud to be a part of this force."

Partners of the Fly the Flag scheme include the National Theatre, Amnesty International, and the Tate.

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Fly the Flag